New York State to allow limited hydrofracking?
There's word that Governor Cuomo is considering a plan that would allow limited hydrofracking in New York State. It comes as the governor was in Watertown on Monday, talking about ways to create jobs around the state. YNN's Nick Reisman has more.
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NEW YORK STATE -- When traveling the state, Governor Andrew Cuomo has made it a point to talk jobs. And more jobs. Touring a former coal power plant at Fort Drum that's been converted into a wood-burning biomass facility, the governor pointed to energy options as a way of escaping upstate's economic problems.
Cuomo said, “There also has to be a reasonableness, because we have to remember at the end of the day, we need power. We need power. At what point if you're not constructing power plants or renewable plants or designing a portfolio or siting anything, you can't power an economy.”
The governor says that while he supports allowing local communities to decide whether they want, say, a windmill in their hometowns is okay, but there needs to be a balanced approach.
“So you can't say no to wind and no to solar and no to biomass and no to power plants and then say I want jobs and I want a thriving economy. That's the balance we have to reach,” Cuomo said.
But the comments come as the Cuomo administration considers a plan that would allow hydrofracking on a relatively limited basis and then phased in over the next several years. As reported by the Times Union on Sunday, environmental groups are already being briefed on the proposals details. Still, not every advocacy organization will be on board.
“There really is no limited plan. Once the state is open to high volume horizontal fracking, it's open for business for it to come in at a full-scale at some point,” said Julia Walsh, Frack Action Campaign Director.
But industry groups that would benefit from natural gas extraction through the controversial process contend it could be a serious economic boon for the upstate region, especially the Southern Tier area where unemployment remains stubbornly high. Opponents remain skeptical.
Walsh said, “We're looking at very short term growth periods in hotel residencies and restaurants and diners because these are out of state workers coming in.”
A long-awaited study from the Department of Environmental Conservation that could detail how high-volume fracking could be regulated is expected by the end of the summer.